I’m on a roll!

3 blogs in almost as many days!  Tomorrow is back to reality and back to school.  There are no days off until the 24th – theoretically I should have even more time to get things done – we’ll see.   Yesterday we went and tagged a Christmas tree to chop down in a few weeks and then put up our mini Christmas village in the dining room.  This morning we even woke to a light coating of snow – the season has begun!

Regarding that mini-book… I have worked up a tablerunner (just needs to be quilted) and a wall hanging using the same fabrics, but arranged in different ways.  It’s cool to see how fabrics placed in different patches makes the design look a lot different.  Since I now have more pages to work with I am hoping to include a blank layout big enough so that quilters can color their own designs.  I work with EQ6 (which I absolutely love!) but for those of you who prefer colored pencils/markers (I still enjoy that too when I don’t have access to a computer) I think it would be fun and creative to come up wth your own design.  The possibilities are endless.  Probably the only challenging part for many quilters would be then to figure out the yardages required if you were making a larger size quilt.  I’d be happy to help anyone with that dilemna.

I am also working on getting  the e-commerce part of the site up and running (I ran into technical difficulties a couple of weeks ago.)  When that happens, I will have kits available with the Christmas fabric.  Of course, I’ve missed the window for anyone wanting to get a quilt done for Christmas.  Oh well – there’s always next Christmas – fortunatley fabric doesn’t go bad!  Until I get the mini-book finished (this month – cross your fingers) if anyone is interested in a pattern for just the larger sizes, I do have a few copies.  Please E-mail me.   hm@hellemaydesigns.com

Happy last day of Novemeber! 


The story continued…

So,  as I was saying… Evidently when it comes to pattern writing, I’m a little too verbose and I got a bit carried away with diagrams (once I figured out how to draw them well.)  In order to fit into the standard pattern mold, I’d have to lose a lot of meat.  Well, never having been one to fit the standard mold (my friends and family will attest to this!), I’ve decided that the best thing to do is to “do it my way!”  What I realized is that what I had practically written (duh!) was what I am calling a mini-book.  With just a few more pages and a few more projects based on the same instructions, I would have something much more substantial than just a pattern to piece a top. 

So that’s where I am and why you still haven’t seen a pattern for sale.  My first “mini-book” is based on the Christmas Candy design and will contain several projects based on that design.   Despite the fact that the main block and sash block are all made from various triangles, I believe the directions and diagrams are clear enough for a quilter that considers her(him)self at least a confident beginner.  I  include detailed instructions on mitered borders – which I know scare a lot of quilters.  I’m not going to lie and say they are easy – not everything in life is easy – but I present my reasonably simplified method for achieving them.  Ideas for quilting and complete binding instructions are also included. 

There are still a lot of seasoned quilters that still struggle with how to turn corners and end the binding.  Ok – I’m going to get on my soapbox now.  I think that’s because the majority of patterns and workshops out there only focus on getting through the piecing of the quilt top and that’s where the instructions end.  How many of you have sewn a garment from a pattern?  Those directions take you from how to cut out the pieces to how to finish that final hem.  When you’re done, you can proudly wear that skirt or dress.  So many quilt pattern instructions, however, leave the quilter with these parting words,”layer, quilt as desired, and bind.”  No wonder there are so many UFO’s out there!   OK, enough of my rant.

So please bear with me as I finish this first project.  I’d love to hear your comments on my approach! 


Happy Thanksgiving!

The kids let us sleep in this morning! Yeah!  It’s probably the first time I’ve ever slept in on Thanksgiving morning!  We are going to my in-laws for Turkey day and I was only in charge of the sweet stuff – – pumpkin pie, apple pie, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce.  Very unstressful.  So – I had the urge to finally sit down and get this blog rolling.  I’ve meaning to do it all month.  Even though the website has nothing new to show for itself, I’ve actually been doing a lot of thinking and planning and even a little sewing.

It seems like a lifetime ago already, but I attended Market in Houston at the end of October to do some homework and understand what I was really getting myself into.  It was a  worthwhile experience.  I spoke to lots of different people in the quilt world:  designers, quilt shop owners,  distributors andfabric company owers, just to name a few.  Lots of different perspectives, but lots of valuable information that has gone into helping me really understand how I’d like to add my contribution to the world of quilting.   It’s also why there seems to be a hold-up on getting my patterns to you.

I actually had finished (at least that’s what I thought) the pattern for Christmas Candy before I went.  (The photo of the quilt is in my album and on the previous posting.)  Long story short, it turns out that I wrote too much!  My goal was to deliver a pattern that would take a confident beginner  and up through each step of the quilt, as if I were there in a workshop – no assumptions.  Start to finish.  (I don’t like UFOs!)  Evidently that’s just too much information for a standard pattern because it takes up too many pages and costs too much to produce and distribute!  So back to the drawing board…      

Ok  – I’ve got to go and make the pumpkin pie now!  More to the story tomorrow!


Sneak peak at my first pattern

10-12-4-cc-cover.jpgHere’s a sneak peak at my first pattern – Christmas Candy.  It was originally published in Quilt It for Christmas 2007.  I have written the pattern in enough detail (including directions on mitered borders) that Confident Beginners and beyond should have no problems. It’s all ready.  Just have to get it on the store shelf!

At last – my first blog entry!

So much new stuff to learn!  It’s all been taking much longer than expected!  Such a good feeling though when I actually feel like I’ve mastered something!  Please bear with me as I plod my way through all this new technology!

I’m still working on the “storefront.”  Thought it best to actually have some stock before the store opened!  Nothing more frustrating than empty shelves!

Please stay tuned!